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WCAP Soldier-athlete claims bobsled World Cup victory in Latvia

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Elana Meyers Taylor (left) and Spc. Lake Kwaza (right) claim a bobsled World Cup win Sigulda, Latvia, January 2, 2022. Kwaza and Meyers Taylor finished two runs in 1 minute, 41.88 seconds. (Photo Courtesy Viesturs Lacis / International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Foundation) (Courtesy)

SIGULDA, Latvia — Spc. Lake Kwaza, a Soldier-athlete assigned to the World Class Athlete Program, Fort Carson, Colorado, claimed a bobsled World Cup victory in Sigulda, Latvia, January 2nd, 2022.

Kwaza teamed with Elana Meyers Taylor to finish two runs in 1 minute, 41.88 seconds, a mere .22 of a second faster than British duo Mica Mcneill and Adele Nicoll and .24 of a second before Canada’s team of Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski.

“Since the day I took up Bobsled and made my first World Cup Team, my goal was to be on the podium every opportunity I have,” said Kwaza. “This has been my motivation and so far every World Cup race with Elana has ended with us on the podium.”

The American duo hadn’t raced together in over a year but ended up becoming a gold-medal combo. This is Kwaza’s second World Cup victory since February 2019, where she also claimed a world cup win with Meyers Taylor in Lake Placid, New York.

Kwaza and Meyers Taylor were initially tied with the Russian team of Nadezhda Sergeeva and Yulia Belomestnykh after their first run, however the Russians crashed during their second run, finishing 15th.

“The race last weekend was very close with Russia,” said Kwaza. “The amount of focus between myself and Elana couldn’t have been any better.”

Kwaza joined the Army and WCAP in 2019 to help realize her goal of qualifying for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The World Cup bobsled and skeleton circuit has two stops left, the first in Winterberg, Germany this weekend. The World Cup season ends January 16 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, before qualified teams head to China for the Beijing Olympics in February.

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